Arizona's Attorney General cited an 158-year-old anti-abortion law: older than Jim Crow and age of consent laws

This summer, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich cited a 158-year-old Arizona law that states any one who provide "medicine, drugs or substance, or uses or employs any instrument or other means whatever, with intent thereby to procure the miscarriage of such woman, unless it is necessary to save her life, shall be punished by (imprisonment) in the state prison for not less than two years nor more than five years."

What are other territorial laws that continue to haunt American democracy?

Territorial law in Arizona also indicated that no Black person, Native American, or a person of Asian or Mexican descent could testify against a white person. Anti-miscegenation laws eliminated marriages between whites and non-whites: "The marriage of a person of Caucasian blood with a Negro, Mongolian, Malay or Hindu is null and void." The statute also indicates punishment for trying to get around these laws; no one "may not evade the laws of this state relating to marriage by going to another state or country for solemnization of the marriage." Finally, during Arizona Territorial times, ten years old was the age of consent.

These are the time's reactionary politicians, and their supporters want to return. Slave patrols, border rangers acting with impunity, a legally imposed color line, and a patriarchal social system threaten people's lives caring for others.

What does this mean going forward? As Article 22 Section 2 of the Arizona Constitution legislates, "All laws of the Territory of Arizona now in force, not repugnant to this Constitution, shall remain in force as laws of the State of Arizona until they expire by their own limitations or are altered or repealed by law; Provided, that wherever the word Territory, meaning the Territory of Arizona, appears in said laws, the word State shall be substituted."

Given that "repugnant to the Constitution" is a subjective phrase, these are the terms of order under review.